Organic Site Preparation for Wildflower Establishment

By Sarah Foltz Jordan, Jessa Kay Cruz, Kelly Gill, Jennifer Hopwood, Jarrod Fowler, Eric Lee-Mäder, and Mace Vaughan.

Organic Site Preparation for Wildflower Establishment
Site preparation is one of the most important and often inadequately addressed components for successfully installing pollinator habitat. These guidelines provide step-by-step instructions, helpful suggestions, and regional timelines & checklists for preparing both small and large sites using:

  • Solarization
  • Smother cropping
  • Repeated shallow cultivation
  • Sheet mulching
  • Soil inversion
  • Organic herbicide applications
  • Sod removal

Use this document with the timeline(s) & checklist(s) applicable to your region, available below.
To download a copy of the PDF, click here.

Taking Next Steps

Organic Site Preparation Methods: A Comparative Overview

This fact sheet provides a brief overview of the site preparation methods covered in Organic Site Preparation for Wildflower Establishment, and is intended to help you quickly assess the suitability of each method for a given site. Learn more.

Organic Site Preparation Timelines & Checklists

Use these forms in conjunction with the guidelines, Organic Site Preparation for Wildflower Establishment. Developed after numerous field trials, these fillable timelines & checklists provide concise step-by-step instructions for different organic site preparation methods by region. Learn more.

Bring Back the Pollinators

Sign the pledge and take action to help protect pollinators and their essential habitats! Bring Back the Pollinators is based on four simple principles that can be implemented in any landscape. Learn more.

Pollinator Conservation Resource Center

A collaboration of the Xerces Society and Neal Williams at the University of California, Davis, the Pollinator Conservation Resource Center is where you can find regional information about plant lists, habitat conservation guides, and more. Learn more.

Pollinator Conservation Seed Mixes

Our partners in the native seed industry are offering specially designed, Xerces-approved wildflower seed mixes that provide foraging and nesting resources for a diversity of pollinators. Learn more.

Plant Milkweed Seed!

Milkweeds support monarch butterflies, native bees, honey bees, and other beneficial insects. As part of our Project Milkweed, we have created this comprehensive national directory of milkweed seed vendors to help you find sources of seed. Search for sources of milkweed seed now!